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Simple Green Vs Engine Degreaser [Which To Choose To Clean Your Engine?]

Engine cleaning removes accumulated dirt, oil, grime, and grease and ensures the continued performance of your engine. Various products for engine clean-up are available, including Simple Green. But which product is the best for cleaning your engine? We have done the research and found the answer for you.

Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is the best product for cleaning your engine because it's an effective and eco-friendly cleaner. Engine degreaser products specifically made for vehicles often contain solvents. Using these products requires extra care so as not to harm users or the environment. 

Are you ready to clean your engine? Read on, as we have prepared tips to help you make the cleaning process a success. We also share insights on making the right choice between Simple Green and engine degreaser. 

Before you continue reading, let us say we hope you find the links here useful. If you purchase something through a link on this page, we may get a commission, so thank you!

Collaged photo of car engine degreasers, Simple Green Vs Engine Degreaser [Which To Choose To Clean Your Engine?]

Why Do You Need To Clean Your Engine?

You clean the vehicle's exterior often. But have you tried opening the hood while cleaning to check the engine?

Opening the hood might reveal evidence of grime and grease stuck on the engine parts. The oil on the engine could be from a leak.

Cleaning the engine helps trace oil leaks. You should check on the leak right away before it escalates to a bigger engine problem. 

Cars can accumulate dirt, pebbles, and grime over time as well. These particles affect the performance of the vehicle. You should clean the engine then to ensure its runs properly and efficiently.

This will also prevent wear and tear on the engine's hoses, pulleys, wires, and other parts. Removing gunk from these parts will help save on repairs later on. 

Spraying degreaser underneath the car

Dos and Don'ts of Engine Degreasing

Read through these guidelines before cleaning your engine:

  • Before cleaning your engine, check the regulations of your county and state regarding car washing done at home.
  • Take the car to a self-serve car wash if cleaning is not allowed at home. 
  • Check the car's manual for the manufacturer's instructions on cleaning and degreasing.
  • Use a non-corrosive cleaner that will not cause damage to the plastic, metal, and rubber parts of the engine. 
  • Do not use any acidic cleaning products such as vinegar, as this is can cause the metal to rust. 
  • You should not use a cleaner with bleach because this can corrode steel and aluminum and break down rubber seals.
  • Cool the engine down before cleaning. Do not douse it with water, as this can cause some engine parts to warp or crack.
  • Cover all electrical parts including the alternator, distributor, and air intake system with a plastic bag and seal it with tape. 
  • Disconnect the battery terminal and take the battery out of the engine. 

Simple Green vs Engine Degreaser

Different cleaners are available for cleaning the engine. These cleaners can be all-natural or made with solvent. 

Simple Green

Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is an EPA Safer Choice certified product. This concentrated degreaser can clean countertops, furniture, equipment, appliances, and vehicles.

Simple Green is environmentally safe to use. It is nontoxic and biodegradable. The cleaner will not corrode any metal components of an engine. 

Simple Green is the best option for removing automotive fluid, oil, grime, and grease from your engine. With no harmful chemicals, it will not cause damage to the engine. It is also safe for users. 

Check out this product on Amazon.

How to Use Simple Green Cleaner

Here are the steps for  using Simple Green to remove accumulated grime and grease from your engine:

  1. Dilute the cleaner with water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mixture on the engine. You should spray the entire engine.
  3. Let the mixture sit for three to five minutes. 
  4. Loosen up any grime and grease with a non-metallic bristled brush.
  5. Rinse by spraying water to remove the cleaner from the engine parts.
  6. Brush off stubborn dirt and oil.  
  7. Gently remove the plastic bag covering the electrical parts. Fold the plastic bag inwards to prevent water from spilling into the sensitive parts of the engine.
  8. Dry the engine components thoroughly with a clean towel.
  9. You may use a compressed air duster to remove water from the crevices of the engine. This will make the drying process quicker as well.  

Check out this compressed air duster on Amazon.

Engine Degreaser

An engine degreaser is a product made specifically to clean a vehicle's engine. Using this product removes engine deposits. It penetrates engine crevices to release grease, grime, oil, and other contaminants. 

This cleaner comes in a liquid spray form and is self-emulsifying. There is no need for mixing or using special tools.

It is easy to use as well. Just spray it on the engine and let stay for five minutes. Then wipe it off with a wet cloth. 

Worker spraying engine degreaser

Note that you should keep these products away from children, as they can contain solvents. You should also avoid getting the product in your face or eyes. 

Do not expose the engine degreaser container to heat, open flame, electrical connections, or battery terminals. The container can rupture and cause injury to the user. 

Gunk Engine Degreaser

One of the most popular engine degreasers on the market is the Gunk Engine Degreaser. It is a heavy-duty cleaner for all types of vehicles. It is used to remove grease and oil build-up in cars, trucks, ATVs, RVs, bikes, and tractors.

Gunk can also clean lawnmowers, farm equipment, and machinery. It deep cleans and acts fast in releasing dirt and oil on an engine. Just spray it on the engine and wait for 10–15 minutes before hosing it down. 

Check out this heavy-duty engine degreaser on Amazon.

Can You Make Homemade Engine Degreaser?

You can make DIY solutions for engine degreasers that will not cost much. The materials needed are simple supplies that are readily available in your kitchen.

Washing Soda

One effective DIY solution is to mix 1/4 cup of washing soda with one gallon of warm water. Washing soda is safe to use in your engine because it is fragrance-free and has no harsh chemicals like phosphate.

Washing soda is similar to baking soda, but it is is a more abrasive cleaning material that can help remove dirt and grease. 

Check out this washing soda on Amazon.

Dishwashing Soap

The dishwashing soap mixed with ammonia and water can also be used to clean an engine. Mix two parts each of ammonia and water then add one part liquid dishwashing soap.

Take extra care when using ammonia, as it can harm the mouth, nose, eyes, and throat. 

Check out this household ammonia solution on Amazon.

You can also mix dishwashing soap with kerosene and water to clean your engine. The mixture should contain one part kerosene, four parts water, and a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap.

The soap will help break down the oil and dirt build-up on your engine. Be careful in storing the mixture and in storing kerosene, as these are flammable. 

Is WD-40 Safe For Cleaning Engines? 

WD-40  can lubricate squeaky doors and windows. This product also prevents corrosion and removes moisture. WD-40 can degrease engines as well. There are specialized products under the WD-40 brand for this purpose.

One of these products is the WD-40 degreaser. This contains an industrial-grade solvent that quickly removes an engine's dirt, grime, oil, and grease.

It is safe for use on metal, rubber, aluminum, and plastic. This product does not leave any residue and makes an engine look clean and sleek.

Follow the dos and don'ts of engine degreasing discussed here when using a WD-40 degreaser. The manufacturer recommends running the engine for five to 10 minutes before cleaning it. The heat makes the removal of oil and dirt build-up easier. 

Check out this cleaner and degreaser on Amazon.

What Is Engine Steam Cleaning?

People are hesitant to have their car engines undergo steam cleaning because they're afraid the engine might get damaged. However, if the steam cleaning is done by well-trained technicians, it's a safe way to clean off the engine. 

Worker spraying degreaser on the engine part

During the steam cleaning process, hot water is applied at a high pressure. A degreasing additive is used as well to help quickly remove the accumulated grease and grime. 

This method of cleaning should be done by professionals to ensure that water does not get inside the engine and to prevent damage to the engine's exterior. 

To Wrap Up

Collaged photo of car engine degreasers

The safe way to clean your engine is to use Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. It's an all-natural cleaning product that is easy to use and fast acting.

We hope this post answers your questions about engine degreasing. For additional information on car maintenance, we recommend reading the following posts:

How To Remove Scratches From A White Car

Does Laundry Detergent Damage Car Paint?

Car Wax Won’t Come Off – What To Do?